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RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) –- There is broad support among North Carolina voters for drug testing those who receive public assistance, according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute.

The Speaker of the North Carolina House recently proposed drug testing for recipients of public assistance. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they support this idea. Twenty-three percent said they oppose it and four percent said they do not know or have no opinion.

One’s party affiliation appears to not play a role in this proposal as Republicans (86 percent), unaffiliated voters (70 percent), and 60 percent of Democrats approve of drug testing public assistance recipients.

“While it may have been an off the cuff remark by Speaker Tillis, the voters of North Carolina support this proposal in overwhelming numbers,” said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca. “Aside from newspaper editors, liberal politicians and a few commentators from progressive groups, most people think this is a common sense idea.”

The Civitas Poll is the only regular live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more information on Civitas polling see http://www.nccivitas.org/category/poll/.

Full Text of Question:

“The Speaker of the North Carolina House has proposed drug testing for recipients of public assistance. Do you agree or disagree with drug testing all those who receive public assistance in the state?”

Total Agree – 71%
Total Disagree – 23%
Strongly Agree – 55%
Somewhat Agree – 16%
Somewhat Disagree – 8%
Strongly Disagree – 15%
Don’t Know/No Opinion – 4%
Refused – 2%

This poll of 600 likely 2012 general election voters in North Carolina was conducted October 17-18 2011 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of probable 2012 general election voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in 2006 or 2008 or be newly registered to vote since November 5, 2008. (November 5 is the day after the election)

The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in the 2006 or 2008 general elections or is newly registered since November 5, 2008.

Comment on this Story

  • Excellent idea. If you had a friend in need, and he came to you for some help, and you give him $1000 – a few days later someone shows you a picture of him boozing it up and God knows what else with your money – do you have the right to know about that? Would you confront him? Of course you would. And should. This is a no-brainer. We cannot afford anymore waste with tax dollars. Anyone who can use public assistance to get high does not need public assistance.

  • SurfCityTom

    where you work for a living, a new employee is subject to pre-employment drug test and physical exam, crimminal check, and credit check as well as driver record check if the new hire will operate an employer provided vehicle.

    So why not do random drug testing for those on entitlements? Add to that, random, unannounced inspections of public housing to ensure the property is being maintained and there are no unauthorized inhabitants.

    Same thing on those free phones. Check the call record, monthly, to ensure those phones are only being used for medical and safety emergencies.

  • TaxPayer$$$

    This simple expedient goes to the heart of the generational pandemic of welfare dependency. If the purpose of public assistance is to provide means until self sufficiency is attained, then the recipient also has an incumbent duty to do all that one can do to attain that self sufficiency. Allocating purportedly scant personal resources to destructive behavior of illicit drug use betrays that duty and belies the very need for assistance. Thus, the real goal of assistance without drug testing must be entrapment, dependency, and a despicable hollowing of the human potential and self respect. The lie of government “compassion” is thus revealed.

  • Guest1322

    Drug testing people who receive public assistance is unconstitutional. It violates the 4th amendment. The people who took the poll are obviously ignorant to applicable law.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Just like my suggestion to give them depo-prevera, you simply make it a requirement to collect public assistance.

    That makes it their choice: Submit to a drug test (or depo shot) or decline the public assistance. They don’t HAVE to get tested or get the shot….

    …but a voluntary drug test does not violate the Fourth Amendment.

  • TaxPayer$$$

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    There is no right to public payments. The drug test would not be used to prosecute for a crime.

    The recipient voluntarily seeks public funds. As a condition to receive those funds, the recipient must meet certain criteria and thus qualify to receive those funds. Passing a drug test is simply another criterion required to qualify for the program.

    Many banks require a thumbprint to cash a check. One does not have to supply a thumbprint but the bank is not required to negotiate the check. Similarly, one does not have to submit to a vision or driving test. However, one may not qualify for a driver’s license. Try obtaining a passport without submitting a photo meeting the required standards. However, seeking a passport is a voluntary act.

    The Fourth Amendment protection does not apply to assistance payments. Florida has passed a law earlier this year requiring drug testing for welfare recipients and a federal judge has issued a temporary injunction. However, the case will likely end up before the Supreme Court.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …to put them on mandatory, quarterly depo-provera shots given when they show up to pick up their quarterly payment.

    The initial cost of returning to hard checks would be mitigated by shutting down the breeding factory for future Medicaid and TANF recipients.


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